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Fredonia town council remembers Mayor Riddle

The Fredonia Town Council met in the council chambers at the Fredonia Town Offices on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. Council members Dirk Ballard, Frank Banks and Kenny Johnson were in attendance, as was Vice- Mayor Don Johnson. This was the council’s first meeting since the tragic loss of Mayor Christy Riddle in March.

The meeting was called to order by Don Johnson at 7:02 p.m. About 15 members of the public were in attendance. Kenny Johnson provided the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

One resident stood during the public comment period to express condolences around the mayor’s loss. Councilor Johnson and Vice-Mayor Johnson also expressed sadness at her passing, as well as gratitude for her service. Noting that they didn’t always see eye-to-eye, Councilor Ballard nevertheless referenced Teddy Roosevelt when remembering the mayor, quoting,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

The council next addressed the consent agenda, unanimously approving the current meeting’s agenda, the minutes from the March 5 regular meeting, and the payment register.

Under the agenda’s action items, Councilor Ballard took the lead in explaining the transition to new leadership on the council, noting that they had consulted with the town’s attorney and the Arizona League of Cities and Towns before agreeing on the process. Per the town’s bylaws, a motion was made for Vice-Mayor Don Johnson to fill the vacant mayor’s position. He accepted, noting that he’d be relying on the council for support. The motion unanimously passed.

Ballard then stated that Johnson’s vacant seat would be filled by appointment at the next council meeting. Asked by a member of the audience why they weren’t appointing someone now, Ballard answered that although the council could legally appoint someone to fill the seat immediately, they were using a two-week application process for the sake of transparency. Interested individuals should submit a letter of intent to the town clerk.

Additional action items included approval of a liquor license transfer for the Short Stop and the acceptance of a contractor’s bid for the town’s ongoing sidewalk replacement project.

Fredonia Town Council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the town offices. Agendas and minutes can be found on the town website at




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